A bursty model with delay


We study the following gene expression model which does not have an explicit gene state description and that the product (mRNA or protein denoted as P) is actively transcribed in bursts whose size are distributed according to a geometric distribution. This means the propensity function is given by $f(n) = ab^n/(1+b)^{n+1}$ for any positive integer $n$. The bursty model can be summarized by the reactions:

\[\frac{ab^n}{(1+b)^{n+1}}: \emptyset \rightarrow nP \text{ triggers }nP\Rightarrow\emptyset \text{ after $\tau$ time.}\]

Markovian part

The system has an explicit solution which is obtained in [1, Supplementary Note Section 2]. We first construct the reaction network

@parameters a b t
@variables X(t)
burst_sup = 30
rxs = [Reaction(ab^n / (1 + b)^{n + 1}, nothing, [X], nothing, [n]) for n in 1:burst_sup]
rxs = vcat(rxs)
@named rs = ReactionSystem(rxs, t, [X], [a, b])

In the example, we set $a=0.0282$ and $b=3.46$ and set the upper bound of the burst size as burst_sup = 30. This means we ignore all the reactions $ab^n/(1+b)^{n+1}:\emptyset \rightarrow nP$ for any $n > 30$ where the reaction rate $ab^n/(1+b)^{n+1} \sim 10^{-6}$. We first convert the ReactionSystem to a JumpSystem and initialize the discrete problem by

jumpsys = convert(JumpSystem, rs; combinatoric_ratelaws=false)
u0 = [0]
tf = 200.0
tspan = (0, tf)
timestamp = 0:1:tf
ps = [0.0282, 3.46]
τ = 130.0
dprob = DiscreteProblem(jumpsys, u0, tspan, ps)

Non-Markovian part

Next, we define the non-Markovian part. Here we mainly need to consider the delay trigger reactions that are, for nth-reaction, $\emptyset \rightarrow nP$, the delay channel will be added of a vector $[\tau,\ldots,\tau]$ of size $n$. Thus, we have

delay_trigger_affect! = []
for n in 1:burst_sup
    push!(delay_trigger_affect!, function (integrator, rng)
        return append!(integrator.de_chan[1], fill(τ, n))
delay_trigger = Dict([Pair(i, delay_trigger_affect![i]) for i in 1:burst_sup])
delay_interrupt = Dict()
delay_complete = Dict(1 => [1 => -1])
delayjumpset = DelayJumpSet(delay_trigger, delay_complete, delay_interrupt)
  • delay_trigger

    • Keys: Indices of reactions defined in jumpset that can trigger the delay reaction. For each $n= 1,\ldots,30,$ the reaction $ab^n/(1+b)^{n+1}:\emptyset \rightarrow nP$, that will trigger $nP$ to degrade after time $\tau$.
    • Values: An update function that determines how to update the delay channel. In this example, once the delay reaction is triggered to the delay channel (which is the channel for $P$), the latter will be added an array of delay time $\tau$ depending on the bursting number $n$.
  • delay_interrupt

    • There are no delay interrupt reactions in this example, so we set delay_interrupt = Dict().
  • delay_complete

    • Keys: Indices of delay channel. Here we only have one delay channel for $P$.
    • Values: A vector of Pairs, mapping species index to net change of stoichiometric coefficient. Here the degradation will cause the first species to have a net change of $-1$. In this example, one might have $nP$ leaving the system simultaneously. Such multiple delay reactions are taken care of automatically by the delay SSA algorithm.

We define the delay jump problem by

de_chan0 = [[]]
jprob = DelayJumpProblem(
    jumpsys, dprob, DelayRejection(), delayjumpset, de_chan0; save_positions=(false, false)

where de_chan0 is the initial condition for the delay channel where we assume no ongoing delay reactions at $t=0$. DelayJumpProblem inputs JumpSystem, DelayJumpProblem, DelayJumpSet, the algorithm and the initial condition of the delay channel de_chan0.


ensprob = EnsembleProblem(jprob)
@time ens = solve(ensprob, SSAStepper(), EnsembleThreads(); trajectories=10^5)

We compare the distribution computed using the delay SSA and the exact solution, finding excellent agreement. bursty


[1] Qingchao Jiang, Xiaoming Fu, Shifu Yan, Runlai Li, Wenli Du, Zhixing Cao, Feng Qian, Ramon Grima, "Neural network aided approximation and parameter inference of non-Markovian models of gene expression". Nature communications, (2021) 12(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22919-1